Recent data shows that the women's federations in southwest China's Yunnan Province have been seeing an increase in the number of domestic-violence complaints filed. In 2013, the provincial women's federations received 12,000 total complaints, of which 3,161 — about one fourth — were for cases of domestic violence.
In 2012, the number of domestic-violence complaints was just 340, which accounted for 50 percent of the total number.
"Though the ratio in 2013 is lower, the number of complaints about cases of domestic violence is on the rise," said an official of the Yunnan Women's Federation (YWF).
According to YWF, many of the domestic-violence cases are caused by financial disputes — in contrast to the causes that were traditionally more common, such as mental health and moral issues.
To help eliminate domestic violence, the YWF opened 12338, a help line for women to call when faced with issues pertaining to their interests, safety or rights. Launched in Yunnan in 2012, the hotline provides service on weekdays and currently covers all 129 counties and cities within the province.
In August of this year, the YWF established special "phone reception days," with lawyers designated for Tuesdays, marriage and family consultants for Wednesdays and mental consultants for Thursdays. The 25th day of each month has been designated as YWF President Day, when complaints relating to women and children are dealt with by senior organization officials themselves.
In addition to the hotline services provided by the YWF, the Yunnan Province has established about 5,000 stations in rural and urban communities to deal with complaints relating to women and children. To date, the province has also labeled around 500 communities "zero domestic violence" communities — those that can proudly say they are domestic violence–free.
Since 2012, the province has begun establishing domestic-violence shelters. In Kunming, the provincial capital, the YWF has established the first secret domestic-violence shelter. Its location has never been revealed, to better protect victims from their abusers.
"The shelter is an apartment equipped with a TV set, sofa and cookers," said the YWF. "Victims and their children can share the apartment while professional social workers provide counseling services."
According to the All-China Women's Federation, China has opened the "12338" hotline in over 2,800 counties across the country and has established 250,000 women's rights protection facilities, including support within collegial panels (part of China's legal system) and complaint-filing stations.
(Source: Municipal Times/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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